Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of British heavy metal band Iron Maiden and former airline pilot, will fly Justin King, CEO of J Sainsbury plc, which owns the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain, between five Sainsbury’s stores on a one-day private jet tour of the UK.
The tour, which spans England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, will take place on Thursday 20 March and is a fund-raising effort for Sport Relief, a charity event associated with BBC Sport and sponsored by Sainsbury’s.
Dickinson will fly King on an Eclipse private jet, which is exclusively distributed and marketed in Europe by Aeris Aviation, where Dickinson also presides as non-executive chairman.
It is likely that Dickinson will fly the Total Eclipse (msn 0072 / N843TE) – rather than the recently-certificated Eclipse 550 – which is owned by Aeris Aviation in the UK and is the same model that Dickinson used to fly Corporate Jet Investor between Blackbushe and Cardiff-St Athan last month.
The five-leg flight is part of King’s four-day challenge, which will see him run a mile at 17 different locations in the UK.
Dickinson will fly King to Belfast, Edinburgh, Durham, Doncaster and finally, Manchester. The pair will be driven to a iconic sports venue – including Murrayfield Stadium and Doncaster Racecourse – after each stop, where King will then run to a nearby Sainsbury’s store, with Dickinson joining him on some of the legs.
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The $2.69 million Eclipse 550 can carry a maximum of four passengers (and one pilot) and has a maximum speed of 375 knots (430 mph). It is described by Dickinson as a “two-hour aeroplane.”
Earlier this month, Eclipse Aerospace delivered the first Eclipse 550 jet – having gained FAA certification – to a customer in Albuquerque, New Mexico.